The Akamatsu School of Bonsai was first established in about 2002 as a way of Rob Atkinson teaching and running workshops. In the early days we met monthly on a Sunday to work on our trees, in the hayloft above the old cow byers at Eden Hill Farm, near Beamish in Co Durham. This was made possible by the owner being a member of the group!!
In 2006, following the slow demise of the North East Bonsai Club, it was decided that we would also meet monthly one evening and run as a formalised Club affiliated to the RHS for our insurance. We eventually became members of FoBBS, limiting our membership to 15 due to the size of the venue. In 2014, because of the aging of the farm owner, we moved to Seaton Community Centre, Seaham into a small hall with excellent lighting and more importantly central heating. The hayloft was very draughty and cold in winter!!
We continue to have our monthly meeting on the first Thursday and a limited number workshop on the final Sunday of each month. We now have 23 members, all keen who want to work to improve their trees and techniques.
Over the last few years member’s trees have been exhibited at the Noelanders Trophy in Belgium, Bonsai Europa, various Shohin events and Shows, and of course Swindon Winter Image Show where we exhibit as a club for the first time this year.
As you can see we take our hobby seriously, but with the good nature and friendly banter that is the heart of any successful organisation.